From Outages to New Funding: It’s Been a Strange Summer for Slack
Will new funding help to pick up the Slack?
Let’s face it; performance hasn’t exactly been “smooth sailing” for Slack lately.
The tool was hit by a slew of outages this summer, including:
- A massive 3-and-a-half-hour issue on the 27th of June
- Another hefty 3-hour outage on the 17th of July
- “Disrupted” service on the 16th of August
- A 44-minute outage on the 28th of August
With 8 million daily active users around the world, and 3 million of those paying for their service, such frequent downtime is starting to have an impact on Slack’s reputation. The teams that rely on the collaboration tool for productivity and connectivity are beginning to wonder whether they can trust Slack to keep their organisation up and running.
Time to Pick Up the Slack?
While a couple of outages here and there isn’t a big deal for some groups, teams that rely on Slack to manage their discussions with remote workers are left taking to Twitter in outrage. Many users suggest that they might as well take the entire day off when a Slack outage occurs.
As dramatic as it seems for so many people to get distressed about, in some cases, a 44-minute outage, it’s impossible to ignore how essential collaboration tools have become in our everyday lives. In fact, the average company uses more than 3 team collaboration apps each day.
As our global relationship with email continues to turn sour, collaborative tools like Slack have been the answer to our real-time messaging prayers. Of course, they’re only useful when they actually work.
The issue with Slack may merely be that they’ve bitten off a little more than they could chew this year. In an interview conducted in May, a representative from the company noted that the business has had some trouble keeping up with its rapid growth at times. In January 2015, Slack only had around 1.1 million daily users. Now, they’re dealing with more than 8 million – that’s a huge jump in responsibility.
Acknowledging the Issue
The good news is that Slack has recognised the issue.
The brand is always quick to take to social media and address any outages when they occur.
What’s more, the technical team is usually ready to jump into action and resolve issues as quickly as possible. Of course, this didn’t stop the application from being down for more than three hours at a time at multiple points during the Summer.
Perhaps one of the world’s favourite collaboration apps just doesn’t have the resources on hand right now to handle its growing user base. Fortunately, the San-Francisco-based company recently announced that they’ve secured another $427 million in funding this August, potentially paving the way for innovations and implementations that streamline, enhance and secure the service.
Following the latest round H of funding, Slack has now raised a total of $841 million with their most recent funding round, led by General Atlantic and Dragoneer Investment Group. In a blog post on their site, Slack noted that they pursued the latest round of investment to access more “flexibility” and “resources,” that would allow them to better serve their customers, embrace new opportunities, and evolve.
Hopefully, this promised “better” service will include more uptime and fewer outages.
Can Slack Win the Collaboration App War?
Slack might have started the collaboration tool battle, but it’s no longer the only contender. Countless alternative options have begun to appear on the market, including Workplace by Facebook, Microsoft Teams, and even Cisco Webex Teams.
While Slack is still one of the most popular tools around, it’s also widely regarded as a “freemium” app, in a world where premium experiences are becoming more essential. Indeed, only 3 million out of Slack’s 8 million users pay for the service. Despite this, Nemertes research shows that 62% of all companies prefer “paid” apps, and the security they get with them, to free apps, chosen by only 23% of brands.
With a little luck, Slack’s new investments will help it to define itself as a premium solution for the modern business, with innovations, better reliability, and enhanced performance. In the meantime, every outage provides another opening for solutions like Microsoft Teams to swoop in and take the crown.
The battle for collaboration domination is raging; we can’t wait to see who comes out on top by the end of this year.